Chill Touch and Multiple Creatures


Rules Questions

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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Our group has been having a debate about how many creatures you can touch as part of a casting of Chill Touch.

Chill Touch
Standard Action Cast
Range touch
Targets creature or creatures touched (up to one/level)
Duration instantaneous
...
You can use this melee touch attack up to one time per level.

According to the Touch spell description

Quote:
Touch: You must touch a creature or object to affect it... Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.

and in the Duration section:

Quote:

Touch Spells and Holding the Charge: In most cases, if you don't discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round until the spell is discharged. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell. You can't hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell.

These passages appear targeted more towards buff or effect spells like teleport, especially with regard to friendly targets. There's no other spell in the book that has range touch, multiple targets, and is designed to be used on hostile creatures.

So since it's a free action as part of the spell to touch a single target, but this caps at 6 willing targets per spell, how many creatures can you touch as part of chill touch?

Possible answers our group has come up with:

  • 1: This doesn't really work, as the spell specifically says multiple targets.
  • 1/lvl, all as part of the casting: This gives a LOT of power to a first level spell, but is the simplest interpretation of the rules.
  • 1/lvl, but only one as part of the casting: Our group prefers this compromise, with the ability to make one touch attack as part of the casting, with the other charges treated as held charges that are used up as per regular touch attack rules (attack action to make a touch attack, one charge used per touch). This is how Corrosive Grasp out of Spell Compendium used to work, and the spell descriptions are basically the same, with Corrosive Grasp being clearer on this issue (it describes using it as part of actions that can't be done in the same turn as casting the spell).

Thoughts?


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Description of Chill Touch:

A touch from your hand, which glows with blue energy, disrupts the life force of living creatures. Each touch channels negative energy that deals 1d6 points of damage. The touched creature also takes 1 point of Strength damage unless it makes a successful Fortitude saving throw. You can use this melee touch attack up to one time per level.

An undead creature you touch takes no damage of either sort, but it must make a successful Will saving throw or flee as if panicked for 1d4 rounds + 1 round per caster level.

It pretty clearly states that you need to make a melee touch attack to affect a target. Since the cast time is 1 standard action, you have 1 left on that round which you can use to make your first attack. I would then say that on the next round, if you have multiple attacks, you could touch as many targets as you have attacks with the full attack action.

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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Simon Legrande wrote:

Description of Chill Touch:

A touch from your hand, which glows with blue energy, disrupts the life force of living creatures. Each touch channels negative energy that deals 1d6 points of damage. The touched creature also takes 1 point of Strength damage unless it makes a successful Fortitude saving throw. You can use this melee touch attack up to one time per level.

An undead creature you touch takes no damage of either sort, but it must make a successful Will saving throw or flee as if panicked for 1d4 rounds + 1 round per caster level.

It pretty clearly states that you need to make a melee touch attack to affect a target. Since the cast time is 1 standard action, you have 1 left on that round which you can use to make your first attack. I would then say that on the next round, if you have multiple attacks, you could touch as many targets as you have attacks with the full attack action.

This is how we interpreted it too. Thanks!


Turey wrote:

Our group has been having a debate about how many creatures you can touch as part of a casting of Chill Touch.

It's typically run as 1 as a free action during the round that the spell was cast, then you can use your full attack action with chill touches in succeeding rounds.

Mind you I don't have much in the way of RAW support for this though I believe a bit should exist (certainly the first half).

-James


I agree with the above. Chill touch works exactly the same as other touch spells, except that the first successful touch attack doesn't discharge the charge. That means you get one touch attack for free as part of the casting, and further touch attacks on subsequent rounds according to the rules for holding a charge.


Here's a question.

A 12th level wizard cast a quickened Chill Touch spell. He has a +6/+1 base attack. Does he get 2 touches at +6 and another at +1?

And, can anyone think of other touch spells that work like Chill Touch?


Hexcaliber wrote:

Here's a question.

A 12th level wizard cast a quickened Chill Touch spell. He has a +6/+1 base attack. Does he get 2 touches at +6 and another at +1?

And, can anyone think of other touch spells that work like Chill Touch?

One spell that is similar is produce flame. However, produce flame gives you the option of discharging it as a melee touch attack or a ranged touch attack. I asked a similar question, about using the full attack action after the initial casting, and I recall that one person gave me a convincing argument why only one attack may be made with the spell per round, although I do not recall it. Perhaps if you search the message board for produce flame, you will find that old thread.

Dark Archive

wait a minute here. i'm confused. why would you only be able to touch 1 target a round when the touch rules allow you to touch 6 as full-round.

would the actions of a 10th level wizard be more like

round 1 - cast chill touch, touch 1 target (9 targets remaining)
round 2 - full-round, touch 6 targets (3 targets remaining)
round 3 - full-round, touch 3 targets (0 targets remaining)
round 4 - cast another spell

or would it be more like

round 1 - cast chill touch, touch 1 target (9 targets remaining)
round 2 - standard, touch 1 target (8 targets remaining)
round 3 - standard, touch 1 target (7 targets remaining)
round 4 - etc...

...all because the targets are hostel you can't touch 6 as a full-round?


Hexcaliber wrote:

Here's a question.

A 12th level wizard cast a quickened Chill Touch spell. He has a +6/+1 base attack. Does he get 2 touches at +6 and another at +1?

And, can anyone think of other touch spells that work like Chill Touch?

Yes. No.

DragonBringerX wrote:


...all because the targets are hostel you can't touch 6 as a full-round?

this.

Scarab Sages

Mmm... if you could use all the charges in one round, imagine the fun an arcane trickster type character could have with this spell...

With the undefeatable feats, you could have a wizard 3/rogue1/arcane trickster6 as a 10th level character.

This character would be able to use chill touch 10 times per casting of the spell as a touch attack, and deal 1d6 regular damage, up to 6d6 SA damage on the first hit, and even more sa on subsequent hits. As well as forcing the target to make 10 fort saves against strength loss.

Just dealing 7d6 per attack, with 10 attacks, is a minimum of 70 damage, max of 420, and you've got a pretty good chance that at least one would be a crit :p

That's just an off-the-top build too :p

Lemme tell you, allowing a character to make all the attacks in one round can add up to some nasty, nasty broken game-ness.


Ha! You can make the enemies willing targets by charming them. As an arcane trickster I would rule that a willing target of your spell is flat-footed against any attacks by you unless they make a sense motive check.

WOW, that would be brutal!

Scarab Sages

As far as I can tell, even if the target was 'willing', it still wouldn't work. The rule allows you to touch up to X targets as part of the casting, not touch 1 target up to X times.


There seems to be some confusion. Chill touch is not a level 1 spell that on casting gives you a bunch of attacks for 1d6 damage per level.

Ie a level 12 wizard coesnt cast chill touch and suddely hit all the peasants surroundinghim

It lets you make a number of touch attacks but doesnt change any of the attack rules ex

round 1, cast chill touch get the swift attack from casting the spell
round 2 make one touch attack at +6 and another at +1

repeat until all charges are used.

having a level 1 spell do so many extra attacks in one round would be broken over powered. Even worse combined with spectral hand.

But anyhow it works as i dtaile din my round 1-2 but.


Quote:
having a level 1 spell do so many extra attacks in one round would be broken over powered.

Actually, this is not overpowered at all. Compare to burning hands. By 6th level, where you hit the cap of 6 touches in a round, burning hands does 5d4 against up to 6 targets. 5d4 against 6 targets is way better than 1d6 against 6 targets.

You might then argue that burning hands will rarely hit 6 targets, but the same can be said about Chill Touch, and in fact, Chill Touch is less reliable as an attack roll is required for each target while burning hands is half or full dmg to all targets except those with evasion or better.

So no, it is not at all overpowered to allow 6 melee touch attacks as part of the casting.


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What year is it?


?
2018, why?


Because the last post in this thread was eight years ago! None of these people will ever see your words about whether CT is OP or not. Actually, was Magus even OUT when this thread lived?


I honestly had not noticed. It popped up as second result on google when I was double checking the Chill Touch description, or maybe it was the search for strength on melee touch attacks. One of them anyway.


TheAlicornSage wrote:
I honestly had not noticed. It popped up as second result on google when I was double checking the Chill Touch description, or maybe it was the search for strength on melee touch attacks. One of them anyway.

Don't bother with that kind of silly criticism. The whole thread necro argument reeks of exclusivity and elitism.

I'm a new player and I appreciate the thread necro, as opinions can sometimes change over time, and even if they haven't, it's good to see a modern reiteration of the same points.

People are just weird when they act all "*everybody* knows this by now, don't they??"

Just really silly. As if everybody who ever would play PF bought it immediately back in 2009, got all the rules hashed out, and then they sealed the vault. :P


Snakers wrote:
Because the last post in this thread was eight years ago! None of these people will ever see your words about whether CT is OP or not. Actually, was Magus even OUT when this thread lived?

Maybe none of the original posters need to have this clarified any longer, but did you ever think a new player might search the forums looking for more clarification on how Chill Touch works? That's what I just did. These forums are like huge repositories of community know-how about the rules for everybody who's new to the game.

Magus shamus, Magus is OP. ;) Personally I'm working toward an Eldritch Knight. With Chill Touch. :D

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